I style: synthetic locs

20:27 Naija girl next door 7 Comments

   Hey people!
Talking about protective styling, I always wanted to get the loc'd look without the commitment of permanent dreadlocks. Some months ago, I hit google to do some research on temporary dreads and came across Saleemah of Hydratherma Naturals on blackgirllonghair. I'm all about DIY and so getting to see how to get them done myself inspired some new dance moves :D

     A week ago, I was ready to put my hair away for a while and finally decided to install synthetic loc extensions myself.
     I used Saleemah's method which is basically braiding your hair in regular kanekalon hair and then wrapping the individual braids in kinky hair. Click on the link for details.  blackgirllonghair.com/2011/11/how-to-do-synthetic-locs/.
I bought 2 packs of the regular Xpression kanekalon braiding hair and 2 packs of Bonny kinky hair. I had never heard of Bonny but it looked really full and like it could do the job so why not. I got it for N500 (about $3) a pack. It turned out to be a weave so I cut off the tracks.

 I wanted red highlights but couldn't get any coloured kinky hair in Ife, Osun state where I am right now; so I got one colour 2 and one 35 of the Xpression, hoping that the colour 35 would show through a little.
   What I expected from reading online:
It would take me 2 days.
They would be heavy.

How I Prepared My Hair
The night before, I washed, deep conditioned and sealed my hair. Before I started, I typed in "synthetic lock extensions" in my YouTube search box. A few fast forwarded videos later, I was ready.
   Before each braid I put in, I spritzed that section of my hair with water and sealed not with my usual oil mix, but with my whipped shea butter mix (look out for that when I do a post on my products). Reason being: I won't have direct access to my hair for a while so heavy sealing was in order.

 How It Went
      I started at about 11am and it took me 8-9 hours to finish, with several breaks. Not bad huh? Maybe because they're not so long and just 41 in number. Plus I had help: my friend Alex cut and feathered the Xpression hair (She also just counted my locs for me. Thanks mama!) They're also not that heavy, same reasons I think.
  I braided and wrapped (which reminded me of threading - same movement). I used one and half packs of the Xpression hair and one pack only of the Bonny kinky hair.

 Then I had an uh-oh moment. Some of my locs had started to unravel. I went back to the videos on YouTube and this time I was a good girl and watched them at normal speed. I found out what I had missed: I had to burn the tips to secure them.

Another big uh-oh! The braids weren't all that longer than my real hair so I might burn a few tips in the process. I have learnt a valuable lesson in patience :(
   I redid the ones that had unravelled, burnt the tips, stretched my aching back, and wondered how long it would take for blood to return to my numb right arm.

 I was really pleased with the results and rewarded myself with a nice warm shower. I didn't get my red highlights cos I wrapped it all in the black kinky hair anyway. Next time. As for the burnt tips, I'm in dire need of a trim anyway.

   You'll notice they look much shorter than my hair. That's because for each section of hair I braided, I used a much bigger piece of kanekalon hair. When you do that, your hair isn't hanging straight down, it's curved around inside that big braid. Does that make sense?

See that loose loc where the arrow is? The extra pack of Bonny hair came in handy to fix that. The YouTube gurus said it's normal to have to redo a few loose locs every now and then so whew! I was worried.

One week on
I'm loving my locs! They're so convenient, they let my scalp breathe and I totally dig the chilled-out look.
To care for my hair while wearing this style, I'll be:
-moisturising and sealing every other day
-washing and conditioning weekly (I'll do a post soon)
What do you think about synthetic locs? Would you ever try them?


  1. Love love your locs! You did a great job and inspired me to do more that 21 locs I did when I tried...lol!!!

  2. Wow. i luvvvvvvvvvvv the hair and have copied the style. Will definitely try this. Thanks and I luv the way you detailed the post.

    1. Thanks for reading :) I'm sure you'll like it as much as I do

  3. Well done!! Your locs are gorgeous, really! xx

  4. Love! Love! Love!
    I'm on faux locs right now..